Gov’t to engage stakeholders on marijuana in new financial year

Prime Minister and Minister for Finance Roosevelt Skerrit have revealed that in this financial year, his government will engage stakeholders on issues relating to the use of marijuana for medical purposes.

In recent times there have been discussions among various entities as it relates to the legalization of marijuana in Dominica, as this has happened in some countries in the region and around the world.

Speaking in parliament on Wednesday during this budget presentation, Skerrit said stakeholders will be engaged on the now illegal herb for medical purposes and even decriminalization.

“Madam Speaker at the recent Heads of Government CARICOM meeting in Jamaica, a report by the CARICOM Regional Commission on marijuana was presented, which highlighted a number of recommendations in respect of our approach to marijuana,” he said. “In this financial year, this Government will engage stakeholders on issues relating to use of marijuana in Dominica for medical purposes and possible decriminalisation..”

According to him, a task force will be appointed to advance or coordinate the public dialogue and the CARICOM Regional Commission report will serve as a basis for discussion.

The issue of marijuana and its legalization have been a topic of much discussion lately.

The opposition United Workers Party (UWP) has called for urgent action by parliament to legalize the herb while the ruling Dominica Labour Party (DLP) said now is the time for serious discussion on it.

However, Skerrit said on a radio program that the UWP’s argument lacks conviction.

The debate on the matter has been raging for years now.

In December 2106, Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit said the government would seriously consider medical marijuana in 2017 with a ‘structured’ and ‘informed dialogue.’

In July 2016, now “independent” Parliamentary Representative for the Roseau Central Constituency, Joseph Isaac stated that it was time for officials to seriously consider the decriminalization of marijuana, and expressed his willingness to “lead the mission” towards this objective.

In 2014, Skerrit revealed plans to review and perhaps alter Dominica’s marijuana laws, with the view to lifting some restrictions. However, he emphasized that the government was not prepared to lift the ban on the use of the herb completely.

In 2012, Attorney General, Levi Peter, made it clear that the drug would not soon be legalized, stating that, “Marijuana will continue to be an illegal substance in Dominica in the foreseeable future.”

Attorneys Henry Shillingford and Tiyani Behanzin have also called for legalizing marijuana in Dominica.

Marijuana has been classified as a ‘Class B’ drug in Dominica meaning that it is illegal to possess, cultivate, or sell the substance.

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  1. BMB
    July 29, 2018

    People must stop dancing around the issue. Say/call it as it is. We ALL know that if there’s any serious cash to be derived from marijuana, it’s pinned more to the recreational use rather than medicinal. But like with EVERYTHING else in Dominica, we’ll sit and wait while other Caribbean islands corner the market then try to jump on board after the ship has set sail. We target the American market for cruise tourism right? Ask any American about Amsterdam and one of the FIRST things they will mention is that it’s legal to smoke marijuana there.

  2. Peterson
    July 26, 2018

    We call for the Government to legalize s a herb that has detrimental effects on the human brain and say its for medicinal purposes. We forget that the herb creates doppies out of those who see it as fun to sit on the road side and smoke their life away into nothingness.
    The love of money is the root of all evil… is not a quote from shakespare, or martin luther king jr.
    the legalizing of the herb is at the sacrifice of the future of the youth’s development.
    we all will remember this quote when the youths turn into doppies

    • Affa
      July 27, 2018

      Moot point. That’s what they said about lifting prohibition when alcohol was banned. Like anything else there has been people who abuse alcohol and sit by the wayside doped by excess drinking. There is regulations on the purchase and sales of alcohol which has proved largely successful, but it should not be banned due to potential for abuse. In general, users of alcohol have not been languishing in our prisons as do marijuana users. Banning the plant has proven extremely conter-productive all over the world therefore many countries have made moves to legalize it.

    • Too blessed to be stressed
      July 27, 2018

      I totally agree with you. Too many young life’s are at stake.
      Are we going to really sacrifice the life of so many youths especially our young boys for greed of money? The world is really coming to an end.
      It seems the PM can’t stand this pressure being placed on him by so many.
      Make it worse election is just around the corner. Lord help our country.

      • Affa
        July 27, 2018

        That’s not the point, it was not illegal until theft 1930s when America made it illegal for totally racial reasons so that they can put Blacks and Mexicans behind bars, and that was achieved. It’s the internet age you can quickly look up information on this.

      • playboy
        July 30, 2018

        You, like so many others, have NO sense of history about marijuana, and are simply brainwashed by media and special interests. READ, OPEN YOUR OWN MIND, for God’s sake. Think, analyse. I’m assuming that you can.

  3. July 26, 2018

    Some lead and some follow
    Do the last honorable thing, Resign Skerrit

  4. July 26, 2018

    Thank goodness! It’s long past time Dominica made progress on this issue.

  5. Affa
    July 26, 2018

    Let’s all bear in mind the fact that this herb was first made illegal by the U.S in the 1930’s for totally racist purposes in order to imprison Mexicans and Blacks, not based on scientific evidence; they then strong-armed the rest of the world into following suit. Research “Reefer madness” to find out more.

  6. derp
    July 26, 2018

    all talk and no action, meanwhile the rest of the Caribbean and the world leaving Dominica behind as usual, last kakajab, look they want to ban plastics, why not introduce hemp products which can be made into biodegradable plastics… which are environmentally friendly

  7. %
    July 26, 2018

    That is why I rank honourable Linton millions of notches ahead of Skerrit.Skerrit has attended myriads of Caricom meetings where the decriminalisation of the herb was agenda items.He returns home,and not a whimper!!!He is moo moo!! Since in 2014 the decriminalisation of the herb has been in the UWP manifesto.Honourable Linton is not an imposter,he is not a hypocrite.He is what you see.Skerrit thrives on deceptive tactics.By the way is he on island?
    We are late re the decriminalisation of the herb and it’s impact on the country and it’s agriculture.
    Where The Wicked Rule The People Mourn!!!
    This DLP is a Wicked and Evil Party!!!!

  8. Anthony P. Ismael Minister of Free Pampers
    July 26, 2018

    Cut all the academic fancy pants crappy language. Legalize it and decriminalize it. Advertise it and support it. If you really want this economy to grow and put people back to work, legalize the herb.

  9. Chipz
    July 26, 2018

    People have been begging you Mr Skerrit for this since you became PM. Why did you wait 13 years before you realized that Dominica can make legal money from marijuana to be used in medicine or to make hemp products. You are behind in time Mr Skerrit. Dominica has lost 13 years of not making any money with legal marijuana sales because of you.

    • waypapa
      July 27, 2018

      So Chipz not he listen to you and you vex?

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